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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky

These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 20, 2007.
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Smart ain't really smart
Charles Murray, Derb, and Steve Sailer write a great deal about the importance and heritability of IQ, but I am somewhat baffled by their ruminations as to the value of a high IQ.

For example, Al Gore tested twice in high school with an IQ of 133 and 134. C. Murray guesses that George W. Bush is around 120, and mentions in his WSJ article “But if "intellectually gifted" is defined to mean people who can stand out in almost any profession short of theoretical physics, then research about IQ and job performance indicates that an IQ of at least 120 is usually needed. That number demarcates the top 10% of the IQ distribution, or about 15 million people in today's labor force--a lot of people.”

But does anyone at this point actually believe that George Bush or Al Gore is a “smart” man and intellectually gifted? Al Gore is an idiotic moron and Bush, is, well, a rather hapless fool in so many respects.

I’ve met a lot of smart people in my life, but I’ve encountered very few that I thought were wise and full of understanding. Truth eludes the smartest people nearly all the time as far as I can see. In fact, being high IQ smart nearly guarantees that a person will fail to see the truth because it is much too simple for those who pride themselves on their complexity and cleverness. (See Jesus and his advice to be as a child to see the truth.)
Posted on 01/20/2007 1:14 AM by Mark Butterworth
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Aussiegirl, R.I.P.

The Ultima Thule blog will go on, but alas its creator has passed away.  I and many many others have spent a lot of time at her site, whether for her news of the heavens or tributes to Beethoven.  Of herself she wrote,

I am a naturalized Ukrainian-American, fortunate enough to have been admitted to this great land as an immigrant. My personal history is the spur for this blog. My parents lived through the Ukrainian Genocidal Famine of 1933, survived years of Communist persecution, fled to the West, endured forced labor in Nazi Germany, and following liberation, ended up in Allied internment camps fighting forced repatriation to the Soviet Union under the Yalta Agreement. Their courageous struggle to bring our family to freedom, and their example of unflinching faithfulness to truth and honor, have left an indelible impression on me. My parents did not save me from Communism and Nazism for me to go gently into dhimmitude or slavery. Hence my passion and my mission to expose threats to freedom and democracy wherever they are found. This blog is a testament to their courage and my small gift to their heroism.

One Aussiegirl's favorite sites was Spaceweather, from which the recent photo below is drawn.  I have no doubt she would have enjoyed it.

Comet McNaught, Auckland New Zealand

Even experienced astronomers have never seen anything like it--a sweeping fan of comet dust visible to the unaided eye despite city lights and twilight. Jamie Newman sends this picture from Auckland, New Zealand.

Aussiegirl's friend Paulette MacQuarrie, one of her many Ukranian friends, posts her tribute here.  As MacQuarrie says, "Vichnaya Pam’yat, Aussiegirl."

Posted on 01/20/2007 5:38 AM by Robert Bove
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Questions for Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown today signalled that his first task as Prime Minister would be to get Muslims to rally around a "Churchillian" pride in Britain. --from this news item

Gordon Brown should ask himself two questions.

The first is: why Muslims? Why is it, of all the various immigrants who have arrived in the United Kingdom, Chinese Christian or Confucian, Hindus from India or Indonesia or East Africa, black Africans from Nigeria, or Ghana, or Kenya, or Tanzania, Indians from the Andes, Poles or Russians or Armenians, or any others, it is only the Muslims who appear to have this peculiar trouble with integrating, this seeming irreducible inability to offer heartfelt loyalty, or even express any interest in, the legal and political institutions, and history of the United Kingdom, and those who inhabited it for the past several millennia.

The second is: why Muslims everywhere? Why is it that not only in the United Kingdom, but also in France and Germany, in Italy and Spain, in Belgium and the Netherlands, in Denmark and Sweden and Norway, that governments everywhere find that Muslims present the same problems, the same loyalty offered only to fellow Muslims, members of the umma al-islamiyya, and everywhere make demands, outrageous demands, for changes in the legal, political, and social arrangements, the laws and customs and institutions, that everyone else accepts and that reflect slow progress, achievements attained over centuries by the non-Muslim populations of the various European countries?

What is it that makes Muslims different from all other immigrant groups, many of them quite alien, bearing alien creeds -- alien but not, as with Islam, an alien and a hostile creed?

And what is it that makes Muslims such a problem, so that their large-scale presence has everywhere in Infidel lands created conditions that are far more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous for the Infidel population than would be the case without such a large-scale presence?

Answers to #1 and #2 must be given. Now, or later. Better now.

Posted on 01/20/2007 7:25 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 20 January 2007
FBI turning away translators?

This is a developing story, courtesy of The 910 Group 20 Jan. newsletter:

U.S. FBI’s Lack of Arabic Translators

In the January 12 issue of the 910 Group newsletter, we passed on the request from Brigitte Gabriel’s group American Congress for Truth to send your experiences if you have volunteered as an Arabic translator and been turned down by the FBI. 

After we went to press with yesterday’s issue, we received an update from ACT.  People across the country responded with their experiences after 9/11 trying to help as translators and being turned away. The FBI has only a handful of Arabic or Farsi translators.  ACT has found a possible pattern of FBI bias against hiring Middle Eastern Christians, Jews and apostate Muslims as translators.  They are expanding their investigation, and are going to request hearings on the translator 'scandal' from Senate and House National and Homeland Security Committees.  We will keep you updated on this developing story in coming newsletters.

Posted on 01/20/2007 8:19 AM by Robert Bove
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Mutaa

"[The temporary marriage system] was designed as a humanitarian help for women," said Mahdi al-Shog, a Shiite cleric. -- see this news article

Uh huh. In the western world we call it something else.

Posted on 01/20/2007 8:02 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 20 January 2007
What Has Carter Ever Done Right?

"And the overthrow of the Shah by Khomeini, how is that the responsibility of the President of the U.S., as opposed to the people of Iran?"-- from a reader

Of course Carter did not cause the anti-Shah riots in Iran organized by both the Iranian left and by the forces of Khomeini, nor did he and Gary Sick (that special adviser on Iran whose career has been, for American and other Infidel interests, one continuous disaster), and Zbigniew Brzezinski (with his penchant for dropping the word "strategic" in front of every other noun) make that alliance of that Iranian left with Khomeini possible. But they did nothing to support the Shah, a weak leader, at a time when he could still be saved by prudent action.

Why didn't they? Why hadn't Gary Sick, for example, read what Khomeini had clearly set down? Bernard Lewis had read it. But perhaps Gary Sick, though an "expert on Iran," simply doesn't read Farsi. I suspect he doesn't read it, and didn't know a thing about Khomeini otherwise, and for that matter, neither he, nor Brzezinski, nor Carter then, or in the quarter-century since, has learned a thing about Islam, and without that knowledge, they could, like Carter, write a gushing note to Khomeini as "a fellow man of faith." (Carter's words, Carter's missive).

It would have been possible to rescue the Shah. His fall was not inevitable. And while there is plenty of blame to go around -- what was the French government doing giving asylum to Khomeini in Neauphle-le-chateau, after he had been kicked out of Iraq? What did it think it was doing when it allowed Khomeini to make tapes that were then copied and distributed throughout Iran? What way is that for the French to treat the French-speaking elite of Teheran, with its lycees and Paris as its qibla?

But the main military ally, of Iran was, and had been since the early 1950s, when the British lost their pre-eminence, the United States. It had nurtured Iran in the ill-fated CENTO alliance. It had supplied the Shah's army with weaponry, his navy with ships, his air force with planes. And now Carter simply waited, paralyzed, completely uncomprehending of what was going on. And he still does not realize, this utter fool, what he has done. Do you think for one minute he connects what he did not do with the resistible rise of Khomeini and the ruin of Iran, the destruction or expulsion of most of its thinking class?

For that matter do you think Carter regrets writing speeches for Yassir Arafat to make him look good? Do you think he has ever given a thought to his self-appointed trip to North Korea, where he brought back -- remember? -- words of peace, of peace in our time, from the Glorious Leader Kim Chong-Il?

What has Carter ever done right? What?

Posted on 01/20/2007 8:30 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Infidels Owe Muslims Nothing

"No sir, abandoning Jordan at this point in time would do nothing to further the national security interests of the USA. It would only weaken the closest friend we have in the Muslim world." --from a reader

Stopping the Jizyah of foreign aid is not "abandoning Jordan." Muslim countries should not be kept afloat by non-Muslims. King Abdullah can go hat in hand to Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Arabs. After all, they need Jordan to survive as part of the Sunni alliance. They need those Jordanian troops to help fight the Shi'a. They will pay.

It is the West that must disabuse both the Muslims, and its own elites, that something is owed Muslims. Nothing is owed Muslims by Infidels. It is they, and what they have done to so many lands and peoples, that requires an explanation, and apology, and endless recompense. Nothing is owed them, either, by the non-Arab peoples upon whom Islam was successfully inflicted, and they forced to abandon or forget their own histories, their own identities, for a second-rate brand of Arabness (vide Pakistan, and all those "Sayeeds").

Jordan will be taken care of. And so will Egypt, by the same Sunni Arabs, if it is clear that the West is going to put a stop to its Jizyah. And so will those shock troops of one of the Lesser Jihads, that conducted against Israel -- that is, the local Arabs known as the "Palestinians." All of them can get whatever support they can from the recipients of, so far, ten trillion dollars in OPEC revenues since 1973 -- and counting.

Posted on 01/20/2007 8:40 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Gordon Brown's Grand Scheme

"We are beginning to learn some of the lessons we had to learn during the Cold War — that to take on the opposing ideology we had to take on the extremists, but we had also to win over moderate opinion."-- Gordon Brown

During the Cold War, Gordon Brown claims, "to take on the opposing ideology we had to take on the extremists, but we had also to win over moderate opinion."

Which "extremists" are those? Stalin and Mao? And which exemplars of "moderate opinion" were appealed to? Was it Khrushchev and Brezhnev?

During the Cold War the instruments of warfare included propaganda designed to limit the appeal of the enemy ideology -- not "extremist" Communism but Communism tout court. And it was those within the Soviet Union, the most thoughtful people, who, realizing the failure of Communism on its own terms (to offer a more just and more prosperous society), only in part because of relentless outside pressure, ended the central role of the Central Committee and the self-discredited Communist Party.

Victory in the Cold War was not defined as replacing the "extremists" within Soviet Communism by those of "moderate opinion," for had it been "victory" would have been achieved when Stalin died, and Malenkov and Bulgarin no longer ruling, and "moderate" Khrushchev in power. But Khrushchev was followed by the 18-year regime of Brezhnev, and it was only after that, when Gorbachev, advised by Aleksandr Yakovlev, and then Yeltsin, and many others, together ended the rule not of the "extremists" but even that of those Communists of "moderate opinion," that the Cold War could be said to have been won.

Brown should be forced to explain his analogy -- to explain that is, how he intends to bring Muslims of "moderate opinion" to power in Saudi Arabia and Iran and Sudan and elsewhere, and to keep them there, and also how he intends to do the same for the now-obviously deeply unsettling and menacing Muslim population within Great Britain.

To what passages in a text-centered belief-system will he, Gordon Brown, appeal? And how much of the Qur'an, how much of the Hadith, how much of the life of the exemplary Muhammad, will Gordon Brown, Islam expert, have to teach 1.8 million Muslims to ignore, and to permanently ignore, and to make sure that their children and grandchildren also ignore, and that none or few of them ever relapse, ever take a peak at what is, Gordon Brown will discover, the real and true Islam, the Islam that divides the world uncompromisingly between Believer and Infidel, the Islam that divides the land mass of the world between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb and requires a state of war to exist permanently between them (though does not always require open warfare when the Muslim side is too weak, and would be harmed, by conducting such operations).

How will Gordon Brown, how will others who think dreamily like Gordon Brown, perform this trick, this Party Trick that has not the slightest chance of success, that ignores both the doctrine, and the observable practice of Muslims wherever they may be found, today, and for the past 1350 years, years of Jihad-conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims, stopped only by countervailing and more powerful military force.

Posted on 01/20/2007 8:55 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 20 January 2007
A Teaching Moment

"But Ruediger Seesemann, an associate professor of Islamic studies at Northwestern, said academic institutions have a responsibility to encourage spiritual formation.

These Muslim students want to integrate their Muslim identity with their identity as college students," he said. "Why not let them bring their prayer rugs, let them pray and let them enjoy the basketball game?"

"I personally think it can be settled in a very easy and uncomplicated way," Seesemann added. "The fact that it becomes a matter of debate is significant and points to the sensitivity of the issue."

That sensitivity, he said, stems from fear and a lack of knowledge about the Islamic faith--nothing a dialogue can't fix. A student senator representing the Muslim constituency on campus, senior sophomore Hibah Yousuf, hopes to launch that dialogue with administrators next week."
-- from this news article (Chicago Tribune, registration required)

Transparent apologetics by Ruediger Seesemann. And who decided to ask his opinion? Is he an expert of some kind on the subject of pedagogy, or on the favoring of religion, or of one religion, by the government, or by a university? Perhaps Ruediger Seesemann is unacquainted with the Establishment Clause or the constitutional history of that clause; if so, he might learn a bit before making pronouncements about this country, its laws, its customs, and a good deal else. And he might come to understand that in institutions that are not clearly connected to a particular faith, such as a church-connected school, the very idea of favoring one religion, or of giving religion an unaccustomed role (and prayer rugs at a football stadium are certainly a most novel, and not in a good sense, idea).

And one wonders how it is that he is quoted at all. And the statement by him about how "academic institutions have a duty to encourage spiritual formation" is nonsense. They don't. Some, those specifically connected to this or that religion, may find it their duty. But others do not. Not if "spiritual formation" is defined as changing long-established rules in order to accommodate the rituals of this or that belief-system.

Does Ruediger Seesemann, and do the Muslims in question at Ohio State, really wish to have the tenets of Islam held up for public inspection and critical scrutiny? Do they really want a public of non-Muslims to take a good look at the Qur'an, and 5.82, and 9.29, and 9.5, and more than a hundred Jihad verses? Do they want that public to realize that it can go to, and insert a word into the Search box, and find out what the Qur'an has to say, in various translations (that the searcher can specify) that it would not be good for Infidels to find out too much about.

Does Ruediger Seesemann, does Amir Siddiqui, does Ahmed Rehab, really want Infidels to find out about Islam? Would they be pleased if everyone started to visit the websites where the "authentic" Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim can be read -- read with astonishment, read with increasing horror, by any sane Infidel? Do they want Infidels to find out about what Muhammad did, that model of deportment, uswa hasana, that Perfect Man, al-insan al-kamil? Do they want Infidels, in order to have that "dialogue" with Muslims, to really find out about the mass decapitation of the bound prisoners taken by Mohammad, about the attack on the farmers of the Khaybar Oasis, the murders of Abu Akaf and Asma bint Marwan, and about little Aisha, and so much more? Do they? Because that is what they will get.

The period of total ignorance and willful idiocy is over. It took a while, but it is over. There is too much observable behavior of Muslims, in Thailand and Pakistan, in Indonesia and the Sudan, in Iran and Iraq and Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and Nigeria and Somalia, and in France and England and Denmark and Belgium and Norway and Sweden and The Netherlands and Russia and everywhere that Muslims have shown that they do indeed divide the universe between Believer and Infidel, do indeed think that they have no need in the countries where Islam dominates to treat Infidels as equals but can deal with them as they see fit, discriminating against them, persecuting them, driving them out, even mass-murdering them. And at the same time, no matter where large numbers of Muslims have settled, they have made demands for changes in the legal and political institutions and social arrangements of the Infidels in whose lands they have been so carelessly allowed to settle -- and make those demands, each one more outrageous and incredible than the next, without the slightest hesitation, without the slightest shame, despite the clear record of Islam in its mistreatment, over 1350 years, of every non-Muslim people whose lands have been conquered, and they themselves offered the possibility of death, conversion, or the status of dhimmi, which is to say a status of degradation, humiliation, and permanent physical insecurity.

Let them make an issue of this. And then start educating others, or educating yourself, about the real contents of Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira, and the real, not sanitized, history of Muslim Jihad-conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims.

It will be a good Teaching Moment about the teachings, attitudes, atmospherics of Islam, both in theory, and in practice, over the past 1350 years. And more than anything else, Teaching Moments are what are needed.

By all means, let Muslims call for that phony "dialogue." And let Infidels prepare, well in advance, by finding out something significant about Islam. And not, one suspects, by going to the likes of Ruediger Seessemann.

Posted on 01/20/2007 9:03 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Egypt and the Jizyah

From the site

"Nabil was a law student at al-Azhar University, but denounced it as “the university of terrorism,'’ accusing it of promoting radical ideas and suppressing free thought. Al-Azhar “stuffs its students’ brains and turns them into human beasts … teaching them that there is no place for differences in this life,'’ he wrote.

He was thrown out of the university in March, and in his last blog entry before his arrest blamed al-Azhar for pushing the government to investigate him.

In other postings, Nabil described Mubarak’s regime as a “symbol of dictatorship.'’

Nabil was briefly detained in late 2005 after posting a commentary on riots in which angry Muslim worshippers attacked a Coptic Christian church over a play put on by Christians deemed offensive to Islam.

“Muslims revealed their true ugly face and appeared to all the world that they are full of brutality, barbarism and inhumanity,'’ Nabil said of the October 2005 riots."

In other words, this is exactly the kind of person who, unlike Saad Eddin Ibrahim, is the real hope of Egypt, and who should be supported by the Administration and by those in Congress who have their moral and geopolitical wits about them.

It is one thing to abandon the push for "democracy" in Egypt. It is quite another to abandon the individuals who attack things that should be attacked, including those who are most fanatically Islamic (even if Islam itself is not attacked), and those who are Lords of Misrule, because of their corruption.

In this case Egypt, the recipient of more than $60 billion dollars in aid extracted, without their consent, from American taxpayers who would not, if they understood the Muslim Arab government of Egypt, approve of such a use of their money, thinks it can behave as it is. We should not mind when our enemies -- that is, members of the Muslim Brotherhood -- are locked up. But we should mind when those who have something in common with us, as this particular dissident does, is persecuted and threatened with nine years in prison. This is not being inconsistent. It is being sensible.

And Rice should now read the Egyptian ambassador, and through him the Egyptian government, the riot act. If this trial goes through, and if this particular defendant is punished in any way, that should be followed by a cut in aid to Egypt -- perhaps a half-billion would get Egyptian attention.

Ideally, of course, all aid to Egypt would stop. But at this point, given the limited intelligence and comprehension of our rulers, that would be too much to expect. They can, however, threaten a cut in aid, as was done (ask Bernard Lewis, who takes credit for it) in order to change the outcome of the trial of Saad Eddine Ibrahim, a "reformer" or one who was taken to be such.

In the case of Ibrahim, he turns out to be one willing to make common cause with the Ikhwan, and shares, slightly more muted and nuanced, the hostility of so many Egyptians to Israel, and is unable to extend his sympathies, or learn much about, the Jewish state and its legal, moral, and historic claims -- his mind just can't grasp it, or he won't let his mind be violated by such knowledge, such possibilities.

In this case, Abdel Kareem Nabil is an opponent of both the Al-Azhar authorities for their views and Mubarak for his un-ideological corruption. He seems a better bet than the ballyhooed Ibrahim.

Cut that aid. Cut it, and threaten to cut more. Egypt will snap to in a minute.

Posted on 01/20/2007 9:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Burn That Bridge When You Come To It

"You seem eager for us to burn our bridges to any and all in the Muslim world...I maintain that a friendly King Abdullah on Israel's eastern border and Iraq's western border is infinitely preferable to a potential radical alternative." --from the same reader as below

You apparently did not read what I wrote. Let Jordan stay afloat -- with the party blowing up the inner tube being the House of Al-Saud, or Al-Thani, or Al-Sabah, or any number of royal thieves in the Persian (not Arabian) Gulf. They'll do it. They won't want to let Jordan fall into the hands of those -- i.e., the "Palestinians" -- who might not wish them well, who might be part of a los-de-abajo revolution of those who might insist, and might have ways to insist, that the rich Arabs be more forthcoming in sharing their wealth.

As for "burning our bridges in the Arab world" --what bridges are those? What have those non-existent "bridges" done for us, except to be used as the transportation links for permitting Muslims to arrive and settle deep within our country, and to make mischief and much more than mischief, over our legal and political institutions and our social arrangements and understandings, and our freedom of maneuver in foreign policy (the very policy that must now take as its centerpiece a resolute attack on all the instruments of Jihad including the money weapon, Da'wa, and demographic conquest). Oh, I suppose those non-existent "bridges" you refer to are also good for Americans driving over with toys and good things to eat for all those boys and girls in Muslim Arab lands, the children of those "ordinary moms and dads in the Middle East" whom Bush is so fond of referring to, and who likes to claim they are just like us, want exactly what we want.

No they don't.

And those "bridges" are a figment of propaganda by some, and a refusal to see through that propaganda, by others.

Surely you don't want to be counted among those others, do you?

Posted on 01/20/2007 9:31 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Non-Performance Art

"The article written by Taslima in Outlook magazine was derogatory and outrageous." AIMPLB member Kamal Farooqi said, adding: "She should be thrown out of the country."

Farooqi said the AIMPLB will soon approach the external affairs ministry to seek Taslima's expulsion from the country where she has been living since she fled Bangladesh in 1994 after receiving death threats for her novel Lajja.--from this news item

What she wrote was this:

Some 1,500 years ago, it was decided for an individual's personal reasons that women should have purdah and since then millions of Muslim women all over the world have had to suffer it. So many old customs have died a natural death, but not purdah. Instead, of late, there has been a mad craze to revive it. Covering a woman's head means covering her brain and ensuring that it doesn't work. If women's brains worked properly, they'd have long ago thrown off these veils and burqas imposed on them by a religious and patriarchal regime.

What should women do? They should protest against this discrimination. They should proclaim a war against the wrongs and ill-treatment meted out to them for hundreds of years. They should snatch from the men their freedom and their rights. They should throw away this apparel of discrimination and burn their burqas.

"Muslim women should just do a Lysistrata and get over." --from a reader

"Do a Lysistrata..."

Or possibly "perform in "Lysistrata""? Or even, perhaps, making the play's title into part of a fixed phrase: "perform a Lysistrata"?

A new concept for conceptual artists tired of Karen Finley's chocolatey appearances, and even of Cindy Sherman's child-like make-believes for her self-aimed camera: Non-performance Art.

Posted on 01/20/2007 11:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 20 January 2007
I rented and watched Idiocracy last night. This movie was barely released by Fox last year and quickly shelved. Derb and Steve Sailer have wondered why Fox buried this movie.

I think I know why now. Idiocracy is a movie funnier in concept than execution but none the less it would have probably made between 20 - 40 million in wide release. It was released not long after Katrina when the the impact of America and the world seeing the behavior of an underclass of low intelligence people looking helpless, stupid, and vicious was fresh in everyone's mind; and Idiocracy does a good job of illustrating a world of really stupid, ignorant, and vicious people for laughs.

The movie embarrassed Fox and didn't want Murdoch associated with it. He gets enough grief as it is from the Left. Idicoracy makes it look like Fox was making sport of Katrina "victims", (and it surely does once we've seen how many poor, benighted souls were exposed by the events of Katrina, and such a hapless, charmless class of folks in action).

The movie mocks stupid knuckle draggers and at the time of release, that hit too close to home for Fox which disowned it.

BTW, there was a very large section for the movie at Blockbuster as if they anticipated a big demand for the film.
Posted on 01/20/2007 12:37 PM by Mark Butterworth
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Moon and Venus
That is a wonderful picture of Comet McNaught posted by Robert from the SpaceWeather site in tribute to Aussiegirl, who sadly died recently.  My husband is also a fan of SpaceWeather.  Today’s post of what is interesting in the night sky reads:-
Yes, there is more to the heavens than Comet McNaught. On Saturday evening, Jan. 20th, Venus and the crescent Moon will gather together for a beautiful close encounter in the twilight glow of the setting sun. Don't miss it. 
 My husband didn't miss it. He took this photograph this evening looking north-west over our neighbour’s garden.

Posted on 01/20/2007 1:49 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Word to the weisenheimer

Using Hugh's marvelous, I checked references in the holy book to these nouns and names and came up with zero.


Okay, it's an anachronistic list, except for those pesky infidel Greeks (or are they actually Muslims, after all?).

I did find this warning, though, when I ran a search on "fun":

031:006   And of mankind is he who payeth for mere pastime of discourse, that he may mislead from Allah's way without knowledge, and maketh it the butt of mockery. For such there is a shameful doom.

Posted on 01/20/2007 2:55 PM by Robert Bove

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